Tuesday, May 28, 2013

At long last! OPI Jinx - - you owe me a soda/pop!

. . . wait, I don't even like pop. ;-)  But I do like Jinx . . . and have been drooling over it forever!
My sister and I made a "quick stop" (yeah right!) at Ulta on Saturday when I was down visiting her.  I hadn't been in an Ulta since becoming addicted to polish about 5 months ago, so I was a tad nervous about being able to restrain myself from buying everything in sight!  I did well, I think: my "haul" consisted of: Essie Mojito Madness (I asked & got 20% off 'cuz there was polish spilled on the bottle & it was the last one), Zoya Frida (found it in the
clearance bin!!! :-D SCORE!), a tiny bottle of OPI Coconut Melon Avojuice (I wanted to try it & now that I have, I want a giant VAT of that scent! *swoon*), and at the last moment, I spotted the set of OPI Bond Girls minis.

I'd looked at various eBay listing for this set, and the price was pretty much the same, so I was like MEH, why not?!  Jinx was my first & forever love (in photos alone), but I've been wanting to try Vesper too, and everyone says ____ Galore is lovely, as well as Solitaire. :-)

Sooo worth the wait (like other, much more important things in life)
My sister promptly put on _____ Galore when we got back to her house.  She loved it, and it really does look very pretty on.  But lordy, it needs to be renamed!!  Ideas, ladies????
It's a pale, crisp, blue-leaning pink (or maybe a "true" pink?) with light, delicate fuschia sparkles, and it of course dries to the sandy, matte finish.  Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with to take pics of her wearing it.  And my cell phone has the WORST camera EVER.  No high-tech iPhone for me.

2 coats of Jinx, no base nor topcoat
Jinx is described as a mesmerizing matte coral with lucky (gold) sparkle.  It is a great, summery, coral shade that I love, and the gold sparkle is VERY eye catching.  Lucky?  Not so much.

Why am I only showing 3 fingers you might ask?  And what happened to the long, (relatively) gorgeous nails from my previous post?  Both good questions.  And the answer would be: my brother's broken car door handle is what happened.  I had forgotten about that, so in our haste to leave on Friday night, I gave the handle a good yank, my hand slipped, and my pointer and middle finger nails broke into ragged smithereens. :-(  I used to think it was sooo stupid when girls were like OOOH, I broke a nail!  But now that I have a nail polish blog, and I finally HAD purty, long, nicely squared nails, it was quite sad.  I seriously felt my heart sink as I crawled into the car and we drove off.
And then I angrily proceeded to clip and file the remains and cut the rest of my nails down to match. 

Oh, the reason I'm only showing 3 fingers is because the pointer and thumb are chipped enough for them to be non-blog-worthy.

Yes, I realize it's out of focus . . .  bloggers are right - it is the best way to show glitter!
Speaking of out of focus, it's interesting how life events such as tragedies can bring things into focus.  AND how quickly things become fuzzy again.  For instance, I'm sure that when the Oklahoma tornadoes happened recently, many of us said and/or thought, wow, I'm soooo blessed to still have my home and my husband and kids, parents, family, and friends all alive and (maybe mostly) well.  I need to remember to tell these people that I love them, and be grateful for the many blessings (big & small) that God has give me.
Then the days and weeks wear on, and those intense emotions and clarity of perspective are muddied by the demands of the daily grind.  It's easy to do, in so many ways, and I'm guilty of it myself.
I honestly don't know what the solution is, but maybe even something as simple as leaving a note for yourself on the mirror or in your car (or hey, smartphones are phenomenal tools!) to compliment your spouse on something, or do something you know they'll enjoy, and make some extra special one-on-one time with a child or parent or friend.  And most importantly: taking time to thank God who gave us (in one way or another) all of the people and things in our lives.  :-)

Yes, that was "off-topic," but my dear friend inspired me tonight and that is why the "n'stuff" is part of the name of my blog.  So thank you all for bearing with me!  I'm very thankful for all y'all!! :-)  Nighty night!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Julep Trina & some jazz ;-)

Again I find myself in a not very talkative mood tonight.  Must've been the Criminal Minds season finale - it sucked the words and emotions right outta me. ;-)  So tonight I'll stick to lots of photos of the purty purple polish!

Two coats Julep Trina topped by one coat of Barielle Elle's Spell and one coat NYC Matte About You on my accent nails.  I decided to do my accents a la Liesel (Liesl Loves Pretty Things), which is fitting, because she wanted to see Trina on my "nailsies." :-)

Lookit that firey flaky amazingness!  I loveeeee the idea of
matte flakies over dark colors. SEXY.
Trina's formula was lovely, definitely a one coater, I just used two coats in hopes that it would eliminate the cursed BUBBLES that cropped up yet again. Grrrr.  Well the second coat didn't do the trick, but a healthy dose of Seche did!  The dry time did seem a tad long to me, but then again, I'm just plain impatient. ;-)

Micro-sparkly, vampy purple Trina in all her glory!
Elle's Spell is a very rich, intense red jelly base with LOTS of  red/orangish-gold
flakes.  They sometimes show a bit of green in certain lights/angles.
Outside, full sun . . . FINALLY! :-D
Ahhh, so beautiful!  Trina really does look almost black in certain lighting.
But look at those flakes, just chilling in their bottle! *swoon
Elle's Spell dried fairly quickly & applied super, super easily!  Lots of different sized flakes in one easy swipe.  And the base is really very highly pigmented.  I may have to try building it up on its own sometime.
I'm very pleased with how this mani turned out, and my nails are getting LONG!!  YAY!  Oh, some other random comments: I loooove the satin feel of the matte coat (can't stop touching my accent nails) . . . NYC's is the first matte coat I've tried and I love it.  Can't beat the price either; $1.72 at Wal-Mart.
Hehe, just realized that the Seche is so shiny in this photo, it's practically acting like a mirror - you can darn near make out my reflection! :-P

So, in closing, I have to pay tribute to one of my favorite TV show characters, BAU Section Chief Erin Strauss from CBS' Criminal Minds.  ***Spoiler alert***

She dies a horribly sad death in part 1 of the finale that was on tonight. :-(  So sad!  Rest in peace, Erin; you will be missed!!  
Why??? WHY do awesome characters hafta be killed off?!?! :-/

Sorry, but I had to share this one too; I love candid behind-the-scenes shots! :-D
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia and Jayne Atkinson as Erin Strauss 

Did anyone else watch this finale and get as emotional as I did?  Pretty sure my roommate was wondering why the heck I kept yelling "NOOOOooo!!!  Are you KIDDING me?!  Oh my...oh my GOSH! NO!" :-P

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A LOVEly mani, "heart"-ing Darling Diva Polish

HEART-ing (instead of starring . . . get it?) hehe :-P  Yeah, I'm a dork!  Anyways . . .
If you read my post about Zoya Arizona, you know I was feeling rather down last week, so I decided to finally execute a mani that I'd been planning for awhile and that was completed by the perfect accent polish arriving from Llarowe.  This mani definitely cheered me up with it pretty pinkness and happy holo hearts!  I realize this would be a perfect Pink Wednesday post, but oh well!
Oop, therrre it IS:

Two coats OPI Mod About You + 1 coat Darling Diva Polish Rescue Me + some dabbing
Accent nail: one coat Mod About you + 2 coats Jade Delirio Rosa + pure love!
Oh, and two coats of Seche Vite over everything - hence the ever-present shrinkage.  Grrrrrr.

Sometimes Delirio Rosa looks deep like this, other times more Barbie pink
(see 1st photo)

Despite loving the color of Mod About You (perfect chalky pastel pink), its application is a pain in the rear.  The first coat is impossibly streaky, two coats are pretty good, but if I weren't wearing this with a glitter topper, I probably would've done three.

Rescue Me by Darling Diva Polish is a fairly complex glitter topper in a clear base.  It has a medium purply-pink microshimmer, small white satin squares, small matte white bars, small black hexes, large black bars, and large pink HOLO hearts!! WOW.  The base is rather "goopy," but it's not unmanageable, the hearts come out easily if you tip the bottle upside down for a bit before application, and as I said, one coat plus some fill-in dabbing gets you a really decent glitter distribution.  I love the randomness.
And another reason to love this polish: 100% of the proceeds go to Basset Buddies Rescue.  Awww!  I personally think basset hounds are sooo adorable, and helping suffering, downtrodden, helpLESS animals has always been near & dear to my heart.  
I must confess, I actually found this polish on a blog sale, but you can still get it through Darling Diva's Etsy shop that I've linked to above.

The flash is making the holo look more bold than it is IRL
Delirio Rosa is the vivacious pink in the Jade Holográfico collection of Brazilian fame.  I am glad I got it as the color isn't quite the same as any other pinks out there, however, it's not as holographic as I expected it to be.  And for a measly 8 oz. bottle, I think I'd much rather spend my money on one of the Color Club holos (twice the size for about the same price), which are insanely holographic.  The application was very nice and smooth, and since I layered it over Mod About You (to conserve), one coat was probably ok, but I was hoping to bump up the holo-ness with two coats.  3 or 4 would probably be necessary on its own.
You can get Delirio Rosa (and the rest of the collex here, or if you'd like to find Color Clubs on the cheap (around $7 or $8), I'd recommend eBay or Amazon.

If you'd like to see more of what I mean about the difference between these two brands, continue scrolling.  If not, you can return to your regularly scheduled programming!  Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Inside; standard incandescent bulb, no flash
SO weird that DR looks totally washed out, almost beige here!
(rest assured, it's NOT like that!)
Outside; cloudy skies, no flash
This is spot-on color accurate for DR!
Outside; cloudy skies, flash (to simulate the non-existent sun)
Outside; cloudy skies, flash - different angle
Oh, the CC is Angel Kiss from the 2012 collex, btw

Best Blog Award!!!!

Wow - what a shock to see my 'lil ol' blog was nominated for an award, by none other than the amazing Melissa of Lacquer Reverie. :-D  Unfortunately, I don't have an acceptance speech prepared!  I am very honored, but feel that I & my blog don't really deserve an award, especially at this point, but I shall accept with much gratitude nonetheless and will strive to make my blog worthy of the honor that has been bestowed upon it.  :-)

Along with this award comes a few things to help us bloggers get to know each other better and continue to pass the award-winning *warm fuzzies* on; namely, answering 11 questions the nominator posed, nominating up to 20 other blogs with less than 200 followers, and then posing your own 11 questions to your nominees.
So here are my answers to Melissa's questions:

1) Are you a people person or a loner?
Historically, definitely a loner, but now I think I'm at a happy medium.  Love spending quality time with my friends (online or in person)!

2) If you were a weather event, what would you be?
Ummm...wow, VERY interesting question! haha  Uhh, maybe a monsoon?  I tend to overwhelm people with my swells of emotion?!  I dunno!

3) Glitter, creme, metallic, frost, foil, or duochrome?
Best for last - heck yeah! DUOCHROME (or better yet, multichrome with linear holo, like my Hits Speciallita Mari Moon polishes :-D )

4) What has been your favorite vacation?
Any of the times I've been to Europe.  If you haven't been there, GO!

5) Do you match your nails to your clothing?
Yup, sure do!  As often as possible. ;-)

6) What do you consider to be your best physical feature?
Really? Ugh . . . eyes???  Everyone says my eyes are a pretty green-leaning hazel like my mom's.

7) Why did you start your blog?
I thought it might be fun to have a little space all my own in the vast wwwebiverse where I can share with myself with others, and because Essie (iHeartPrettyPolish) convinced me she was the lone MN polish blog ranger, so I needed to join her. :-)

8) What do you consider to be your best attribute?
My willingness to do just about anything for someone I care about.

9) When reading other blogs, do you read the content, look at the photos, or both?
Usually both - several times. ;-)

10) What is your happiest memory?
Ugh, wasn't I just saying I can't pick a favorite, most, or -est anything?!  Sooo, I'm gonna do a bit of a cop-out & say, whenever I'm able to make someone laugh.
...aaand what a perfect segue into my next answer...

11) Would (I'm assuming Melissa meant "would," not "had") you rather be intelligent, funny, beautiful, or wealthy?
Funny  :-P  :-D
Although one could make an argument for wealthy without it being a base, materialistic reason (i.e. being able to help & bless lotsa people, which I would LOVE to do)

Ok, my nominees are:
Guilty As Charged - I LOVE Haleigh's logo, and she comes up with some fab, ingenius nail art!

The Good Witch (of the Midwest) - This blog is stylin' and its seems she loves indies as much as I do. :-)

KimKim's Journey - high-quality photos and very nice nails!

UKNailRunner - again, amazing photos of LOTS of purty polishes we unfortunately can't get here. :-(  Oh well, it's still fun to look 'n drool!

Konad and Glitter Abuse - 2 things that are also near & dear to my polish-loving heart! ;-)

I wouldn've liked to nominate Lacquer Reverie and Me Gusta Nail Polish also, but I don't think tag-backs are allowed. ;-)  And of course, a very honorable mention to iHeartPrettyPolish and Liesl Loves Pretty Things - my other sweet blogger buddies!

On to my 11 (RANDOM) questions:

1) Is there a food (whether it be premade - e.g. potato chips - or homemade) that you've discovered recently and are really liking?

2) What base coat do you use pretty much all the time?

3) If you're listening to music right now, what song/album are you listening to?

4) If you were offered a massive stash of polishes from a brand or indie maker of your choosing, which brand would you pick?

5) What have you learned recently? . . . factoid, tip, trick, something about someone . . .

6) Are you good at remembering important things?

7) Have you ever wanted to change your name (first or last)?

8) I know, I said picking favorites sucks, but what is your most favorite polish of all time? (brand & name)

9) Do you have a phobia?

10) Is there a polish you'd like to try but aren't too sure about?

11) Who on earth decided that we should answer/make up 11 questions anyways?!

Enjoy your Sunday evening, ladies!!! :-D

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tragic news: A trainwreck in Zoya Arizona

While trying to decide on a title for this post, my first thought was: "Wanna see something disgusting?"  A co-worker asked me that a couple months ago, to which I replied: "Who says YES to that?!" :-P  Well, in a way, I'm posing that question to you, dear reader.  This post isn't for the polish lover who is faint of heart, but if like me, you have a smidge of morbid fascination with hypothetical trainwrecks, then by all means, continue reading.  You've been warned.

The first horror: removing OPI Malaga Wine.
POLISH MURDERER!!  Have I mentioned how much I hate deep red polishes?
Yes, they're sexy to wear, but a nasty mess to take off.
I've been feeling rather blah and uninspired this week (our lovely monthly visitor just might have something to do with that!) so let's just say this mani did not help with that one bit.  First of all, I have to say, the COLOR of Arizona is awesome - the first time I saw it, I knew I wanted it, and I'll for sure wear it again, but some factors are going to have to be tweaked.

Ok, not so bad . . . a lovely Zoya creme formula
A little worse (note bubbling on far side of pinkie)
P.S. I added the famous Pure Ice Heartbreaker on my L hand just to see if it'd look cool -
this also changed the color a bit since HB has a tinted base.
(name that movie line!)
Ugh, it looks like my nails have acne with all those bubbles . . . and the dents/lines: don't even get me started.  This was almost a full 24 hrs after I painted them.  I can still make lines in them now if I press my nail tips into the surface.  I'm sure it was all my fault though.  I'm willing to bet I didn't let the 1st coat of Arizona dry long enough before moving on to coat 2 (this is a two-coater, IMO, which does make me happy). 
Who knows, maybe there were humidity factors that came into play as well.  Either way, ugh.  I still can't believe I wore this to work today.

Oh in case the nastiness didn't cause you to completely overlook the accent nail, that's Jindie Nails' Fantastical, which is pretty fantastic and I'm excited to wear it as a full mani. :-)

So, I know polish blogs are supposed to be all purty and perfectly showcase amazing polishes, but I felt like I should share not only the good with you, but also the bad & the ugly.  Thank you for sticking with me!

Monday, May 13, 2013

OPI Malaga W(h)iiiiiine

As per Melissa's (of Lacquer Reverie) request, I did a full mani of Malaga Wine yesterday evening.  It is a luscious - dare I say seductive? - shade of burgundy red that looks much brighter in sunlight.  It dries to a pretty high shine on its own but I still topped it off with Seche Vite because apparently I love me some tip shrinkage.
Mmm, just can't get enough of it!
Fluorescent lighting in my cube at work . . . makes it look almost
chocolatey brown.  Weird.  It is very dark like this when not in sunlight.
(just not really this color)
Dry time is decent, and it's almost a one coater IMO, but I did two just to get a deeper, richer color.  Formula-wise, it's quite liquidy, so careful around the cutes, because of course it stains like CRAZY.  Hence why my fingers kinda look bloody in these photos . . . it is SO hard to do even the tiniest bit of cleanup because inevitably, the remover will touch a spot on the nail near your cuticle & eat away the polish so the edge looks all choppy.  Maybe this is why I only have two reds in my stash!  I do like the brush . . . I'm guessing it is the standard OPI brush (not sure if it's the Pro-wide?), but it has a good "bend & snap," that somehow makes painting with it feel nice & smooth.  Now why didn't I take a photo of the brush?!  Darn.

Eeek!  Look at that deplorable tip shrinkage!
I'm shrinking back from the screen in HORROR.

After taking some shots of just Malaga Wine by itself, I decided to do some stamping since I haven't for quite some time and my plates were feeling neglected.  Poor plates. :-(
I used Pure Ice Silver Mercedes (NOT Mercades, like the darn shelf said at WM!) and Bundle Monster plate 201.  If you've never tried stamping before, it does take a bit of trial & error to get the hang of it and to discover what polishes work (if you don't shell out for the Konad special polishes - I only have the white).  But you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly & it allows for some seriously awesome nail art!  My roommate asked me if I did this by hand. LOL!!!!!!!

Pretty accurate color shot, and not too shabby for featuring my right hand!

You can purchase sets of Bundle Monster plates here.  They are really very reasonable (I think I paid $19.99 + free shipping for my set) as compared to around $6 a plate for Konad, the original stamping plate brand.  There are LOTS of other plate makers now: Red Angel, Shany, Cheeky, Mash, Gals . . . etc.  Ebay and Amazon are good places to get the other brands, or individual Konad plates.
Konad is obviously going to be higher quality (the impressions are usually deeper, thus giving a crisper image), but my Bundle Monster set does a pretty darn good job!  My sister got a Red Angel set for Christmas, and hers look about the same quality as mine - and there are really awesome designs in her set. 

One last parting image:
Drinking limonada in León (Spain) last year during Holy Week.
Limonada is a regional drink made with wine and some really sweet lemony stuff. :-P
 Ok, two images!
I guess this is technically water from the Bay of Biscay, north of Spain.
My friend was living in the city of Gijón (Asturias) when I visited her last year.
We took a quick bayside walk just before hopping on the bus to get me back to the airport.
I LOVE to travel!!!!  And I love SPAIN!!!!  ¡Viva España! :-D  
Do you have a favorite travel destination?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nail art; Is it summer yet?

Nail art is something I find totally incredible.  I love looking at designs and ways to execute them & try to replicate them myself.  Even watching the manicurists put the tiny, dainty flowers on my friends' nails is just fascinating.  Hmmmm . . . I am unusually wordless today.  I really must be tired!  Haha

My roommate & I were flipping through her newest? Cosmopolitan magazine and found this:

And heeere's my take on it!  
Can you feel the sand between your toes and hear the waves crashing? :-)
I decided to add a mini star from my bottle of Jindie Nails "Fantastical"
I was going to attempt to freehand a star using a toothpick, but something
was telling me I'd end up ruining the design.
So I opened Fantastical and the little guy was right there waiting for me! ;-)
Sand Tropez (what else?!), French White Tip, Skyline Blue, and  Milani Twinkle
I hope you lovely ladies are inspired to try some nail art of your own . . . don't expect perfection (mine was nowhere near the magazine photo), but you might surprise yourself!  And besides, since we're surrounded by non-lacquerheads in our daily lives, they're guaranteed to be wow-ed no matter what. :-) 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I am SO blessed - - by nail mail :-)

Ok, I realize this is a rather odd thing to feel blessed about, but perhaps I just feel that way because when I think of being blessed by nail polish, somewhere in the back of my mind, there is this tiny thought that God does not bless people with nail polish as it's such an insignificant thing in the broad scheme of things.  But He does bless us with amazing people in our lives - some of which just happen to send us polish! hahaha :-)

Lookit these beauties!!! Mmm...some of my favorite brands!
PLUS a super sweet card :-)
Today I'll be showing you my second package of nail mail, which I got from Melissa, the beautiful brains behind Lacquer Reverie. :-)  Like my previous package from my dear Essie (iHeartPrettyPolish), she sent me this purely out of the kindness of her heart.  Awwwww! LOTSA warm fuzzies here! :-D

There's no name on this one, but I've ascertained it's Port-Folio from the 2012 Fall Fashion collection
Just look at that green duochrome amazingness!
Melissa must've noted my love for dc's! :-D
Since I am seemingly unable to make myself swatch every new polish I get right away so I have swatch photos for my blog, I figured I might try this occasionally. If you'd like to see this Color Club on the nail, check it out here:

What do you guys think about this approach? ^^

OPI DS Jewel - a gorgeous liquid copper with purple-y pink and gold shimmer/sparkle
Zoya Arizona
I can't wait to wear this intense cantaloupe creme!
The IRL color is somewhere between this & first picture.
Zoya Yara
Stunning, mysterious dusty moss green with a boatload (bottleload?) of gold flecks
I just had to include a pic of what Essie sent me, complete with her sweet 'lil note :-D
I showed them individually in other posts, but I wanted to do a cute arrangement.
Note: I cannot seem to capture the IRL color of  Sand Tropez.
This is after some editing; still not quite right. :-/

This isn't nail-mail related, but it does relate to being blessed. :-)  My sister came to visit me today, and she brought me a lovely and tasty surprise: Two Fools - 48th Parallel, which is from a local vineyard (literally, like 10 miles away).  As I held it up to the sunlight, it reminded me of my OPI Malaga Wine.  Well, this is Minnesota wine, but they sure do look the same!  Malaga Wine was a polish I purchased mostly because of its nostalgia factor.  I miss Spain with all my heart!!!  And of course, every woman needs a gorgeous deep red polish. :-)  Feast your eyes on the beauty and intensity:

I also wanted to comment on my thumb in the photo of Zoya Yara.  I'm STILL wearing my Pixie Dust Vespa mani - boy, does that stuff wear terrifically!  Barely any tip wear at all (as you can see if you click on the photo to enlarge it), and NO chips.  I did put mine over one coat of Zoya Neely, and a coat of Revlon Quick Dry base coat on my right hand as an experiment.  No chips anywhere!  :-D  I guess this is a huge "pro" for textured polish.  I'm sure I'll be taking it off with the easy glitter removal method as the staying power is about the same - gotta haul out the big guns!  If you're not familiar with this method, check it out here:

I can attest that it works VERY well!

I have so many beauties from my nail mail; which one would you guys like to see?  You can refer to my massive haul photos here too for other options. ;-)

Sleep well, y'all . . . and the HAPPIEST of Mother's Days to all you moms!!!!  (I'm just thanking God I'm not one of 'em! lol!)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Zoya Pixie Dust "Vespa" - my first textured polish!

As I said, I'm thoroughly in love with all my new Zoyas, so that made choosing which one to wear first somewhat of a nail-biter. (haha, J/K!)

So in order to enjoy as many as possible, I decided it would make sense to use Neely as undies for Vespa, and since FeiFei has some of that green shimmer, I would use it as an accent nail.
I also wanted to try a bit of an experiment with base coat again, so I only put my Revlon base coat on my right hand (since it'll get the most use) and applied Neely directly to the nails on my left hand.
Oops, back up a step - after taking (more like peeling . . . I know, it's a HUGE no-no) off my Revlon Royal jelly sandwich, a fair number of my nails were rough, pitted, and . . . flaking?; also I have relatively big ridges in my thumbnails, so I used this amazing 7-sided nail file to buff the worst of the unevenness out.  I know Essie said she's not a fan of this kind of file, but I used to have something similar when I was in high school and would buff my nails to a polish-like shine on the bus ride to school.  I loved it!  So when I was at Target last weekend, this file fairly jumped off the shelf at me.  :-)  So glad I got it (for only $2. 86), as it gave me a really nice surface for this mani.

I realize now this sorta looks like my pinkie is broken, but I really wanted my gorgeous "Adrift" ring from Lia Sophia in the photo. ;-)
Aaaand this perspective makes my palm look abnormally wide & flat like a flapjack! 
This mani consisted of 1 coaters all around - that's how good Zoyas are!  One coat Revlon Quick-Dry base (RH only), then one coat of Zoya Neely, followed one coat of Zoya Vespa, and one itsy bitsy coat of FeiFei on her own little accent nail!  And actually, FeiFei is over the top of Vespa as I always, always forget that I'm going to do an accent nail! lol
Application was great on both Neely and Vespa.  I definitely think you'd need 2 coats of Vespa if you used it on its own, maybe 3?  I did decide to do two coats after the photos just because I wanted it to feel more texturized.  Oh actually, my pointer finger has the two coats in these photos.  I added one quickly at work because there was a patch that was driving me nuts.
I think the dry time was the same, maybe a minute or two better than other cremes, but the finish to Neely is SO glossy all on its own.  Vespa didn't take very long to dry down to the grit either - maybe 5-8 mins?  I'm pretty sure I could've still dented them at this point, but they were definitely dry to the touch.
I'm thrilled to have selected Vespa as my first textured polish!  The color is really beautiful and definitely unique for this finish/type of polish (so far).  And the amazing silver glitter flecks really do make it seem like pixie dust!  Oh, one random comment - I love the texture of the cap on the Pixie Dusts.  The others were all the standard, high-gloss black.  This one has almost a velvety rubber feel to it.  Random observation, I know!
I'm interested to see what the durability of this finish is like.  It seems like it should grip my nail well and stay there for a good long time, which I wouldn't complain about . . . it's a beautiful polish!

Color accuracy with NO editing?!?! Say WHAAA . . . ?!
Oh my gosh, and this pose rather gives the effect of  having 6 fingers!  WOW . . .  I guess my plan of experimenting with poses to find "mine" did not turn out so well!  Oh well, hopefully you guys were entertained by my awkwardness! :-P

The amazing file!
I feel a Sesame Street vibe: "Today's 'show' brought to you by - the letter 'N' for nail file, without which the good base for this mani would not have been possible."

All in all, I'm a big fan of the textured trend.  I've been feeling my nails all day long, and making other people feel them! haha
Oh, and another handy "feature" of textured polish: it can double as a nail file in emergency situations!  Ok, ok, yes, I've got to be pulling on your leg (MOVIE REF!) - textured polish is NOT  by any means 100-grit sandpaper, but I had that thought today & it made me chuckle.

Thank you for hanging in here with me 'n my crazy self!  :-)